Being a new military spouse is hard, even if you come from a military background. My Army brat friends tell me that being an Army child and being an Army wife are, understandably, two very different experiences. Over the weekend, I had a conversation with a friend about Heidi's post. We began laughing about how "green" we were when we first married into the military. I recalled how isolated I felt at my first few socials because I was surrounded by women who had been spouses for a while and had already begun to master the landscape while I felt like I was sinking in quicksand. If an acronym I didn't understand was tossed out, I would go home and ask my husband what it meant instead of asking the ladies for fear I'd look stupid in front of the group.
Most all of us have a funny story from the early days. Maybe something which humiliated us at the time but we laugh at now. Like the story of the spouse who met her husband's unit mates at a brunch and was so nervous that huge sweat rings formed under the armpits of her pink silk suit. She went to the bathroom and about the time she held her armpits to the hand dryer, one of the wives walked in. Or the story of the new spouse taking a yoga class who fell forward and her head made contact with another woman's rear end. The woman turned out to be her husband's BN commander. There's definitely a joke there somewhere about extracting one's head from one's (or another someone's) rear end...
Now that I have some experience and confidence, I look back on those early days and realize how silly I was. Everyone is a newbie at some point and military life, like life itself, is a learning experience. In no specific order, and without any particular relation, below are just a few valuable lessons I've learned on this bumpy journey called life:
- If you want to know something, just ask. You will not look dumb, you will look smart for seeking answers.
- Save your money and invest in the expensive mattress. It will pay off in the long run.
- Stay away from the drama. It will pull you under and smother all that is good.
- When you've screwed up, admit it and make an effort to fix it.
- Be a good neighbor
- Force yourself to experience new challenges and meet new people.
- Class does not spring from money or status.
- Some people are not happy unless others are miserable. Steer clear of Negative Nellie and Perpetually Outraged Patty.
- Humor is vital
- You cannot please everyone
- Fight like hell for the people/causes/things you hold dear
- One of my favorite comes in the way of a fantastic quote sent to me by a friend during a bad spell, "Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down."